So you’ve done your research, read our other posts about how to shop for weed and identify the highest quality top-shelf buds, picked your favorite strains, and now you’re wondering what you can do to preserve it as long as possible to keep that quality high.
The best way of course it to smoke it faster. But for those not in positions to do so there are a few simple tricks that can be taken that will preserve the shelf life of your weed.
You may have seen humidor in cigar rooms keeping the cigars at the perfect temperature/humidity and wondered if a similar setup is needed for your buds. Fortunately, it’s not, as long as you make sure that your weed is cured properly, stored in the right containers, and at a decent temperature/humidity you’ll be able to slow the aging process on your high-quality weed and make sure when it comes time to smoke you’re not using dried up, terpene free, terrible flavor weed. We’ll explore what causes weed to age and what happens to it as it gets older, and how to delay this process as long as possible.
What Are the Main Enemies When It Comes to Degrading Our Weed Quality?
Four main culprits cause our weed to age and they are:
A high-quality bud will contain plenty of terpenes and cannabinoids so if you store your weed in an area that is too damp it can cause mold to develop in your weed. On the flip side, if your storage area is too dry, the trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoids that are responsible for the different flavors and feelings in your weed will dry up, leading to a harsh, flavorless, feelingless smoke. Both cases can result in wasted money and wasted high.
Generally, this one goes together with humidity as higher temperatures are often found in desert areas or tropical humid ones. You want to avoid storing your weed in an area over 26°C as high temperatures speed up the rate that our terpenes and cannabinoids break down, or are a signal that the climate is perfect for bacteria or mold growth in our weed if it is too hot & humid.
Once again often pairing with humidity and temperature, light is out to get your weed stash! UV light is a form of radiation and similar to anything left out in the sun too long it has a large impact on terpenes as well as THC and other cannabinoids.
When growing weed, oxygen is essential for creating a high-quality bud. After the curing process is carried out, however, it’s about finding a container with the right amount of oxygen to keep it fresh for as long as possible. The amount of oxygen present can not only affect the humidity if it is too little but also feed bacteria or the molding process if there is too much. Additionally, some people store their weed in plastic containers unaware that this can cause your buds to sweat out some of its moisture, resulting in a dry or flavorless smoke.
Now That We’ve Identified Our Culprits, What Exactly Happens to My Weed When Stored Incorrectly?
To summarize, when exposed to humidity, temperature, light, or store in the wrong container our weed will go bad, but what are the specifics that happen?
Loss of THC or other Cannabinoids
When stored incorrectly and exposed to light, heat, or oxygen the THC and other cannabinoids begin to break down. Losing our cannabinoids means that future highs will never be as good as that first store-bought one if we store our weed too long. A dry smoke may also result in a much harsher feeling as well, lasting a shorter amount of time, burning faster, or requiring more bud to get high.
Conversion to CBN or other Cannabinoids
Some of our THC and other cannabinoids are converted to CBN which has a much more mild effect on our bodies and minds than THC does. This process is gradual when our weed is exposed to heat and oxygen so we may not notice it right away but the longer it is stored incorrectly the weaker our weed will feel over time.
Lost Trichomes & Terpenes Leading to a Flavorless Bud
Trichomes are responsible for producing terpenes which create the unique smell and flavors found in our favorite buds. A high-quality weed will have many different aromas and flavor profiles and when exposed to high temperatures, light, or too much oxygen these trichomes can break down and the terpenes follow. These work hand in hand with cannabinoids to cause the unique feelings when we smoke weed and when we lose them smoking the buds will have less flavor, feel harsher, and produce a much weaker feeling.
Alright, I Get It Weed Goes Bad If I’m Not Careful! What Do I Need to Do to Save Myself Money and Preserve The Best High?
Preserving your weed at home is easy and doesn’t require many or expensive tools to prolong it for a long time. If you don’t already have the equipment you often need, a trip to your local craft or dollar store is just what we need to maximize the shelf life of our buds. With just a few quick tricks you’ll be able to reduce the impact that humidity, temperature, light, and storage container have on breaking down the quality of your weed.
Keep It Tidy
The first step to maintaining the shelf life of your weed is finding a nice clean spot for it, hopefully in a low traffic area away from potential contaminants where it can sit when you do not need it. Make sure when you’re taking from your stash that you’ve got clean hands, and don’t spend too much time if you’re smoking around it leaving it out in the open.
Use Glass/Mason/Ceramic Jars or Vacuum Sealed Bags
Depending on where you source your weed they can come in plastic medical containers, vacuum-sealed bags, or other containers. The vacuum-sealed bags eliminate the oxygen element and work well for preserving your weed. If you buy in bulk however or want to transfer from the plastic containers with the potential of sweating, then your best bet is to buy a sealed glass jar. An air-tight container with a rubber sealed lid will keep things fresh and safe for a long time.
Store In A Dark Spot (But Not Wet!)
The perfect jar will be blacked out or opaque to prevent any light from getting in if your stash is in an area that can potentially be exposed to it. Specialty jars can be purchased from a supplier at a bit of a premium but if you’re unable to find something like this then there is always the option of using a cupboard that out of sight and doesn’t get used often. In some climates, a dark spot can be damp depending on humidity so it’s important to ensure that your stash is not too dry.
Store In A Cool Area
After you’ve nailed down the perfect container and cleaned up your nice dark spot make sure that the temperature you store your weed doesn’t go above 26°C. Temperature is the final culprit to worry about but if you’ve followed the other instructions then it should be easy to find a dark spot out of the light that is not subject to immense heat.